Restoring old furniture to former glory.(Grand-kids)

Old Cupboard and round table

Old Cupboard and round table

It is the only way. Do something useful and Christmas will soon be over. We all know that all norm explodes and insanity becomes king during Christmas. Did you see that footage of demented shoppers on boxing day? Twisted faces gripped in shopping frenzy. They camp overnight in sleeping bags in front of David Jones. On Boxing day they buy what they don’t need and don’t even want. The magic of the advertisers now have voodooed the world’s population in ‘shopping means saving’. Everything you buy is ‘saving’. ‘Save’ here, the poster tells us. We carry bags full of goods home and are now even richer than before.

The grandkids are staying with us for a second time but tablets are locked away in my sock drawer. It has come to that now. My socks are behind lock and key. I have Norwegian socks and someone in this family ( I won’t mention names) has taken to wearing them without shoes and tramped around the tiled floor and even outside in the garden. Can you believe this AND with Norwegian socks?

With an hour of tablet withdrawal suffering and some twitching button fingers, the boys soon were on their way to activity. One started reading a 600 Michael Grant page book. The other started building a real working V8 engine toy, given as a Christmas present. . We had the Lamb Raan on Christmas day. It was given it’s well earned standing ovation.

Now that things are settling back to normal ( That’s if Ms ‘normal’ ever lives here) I decided to finally heed Helvi’s frequent requests to finish stripping the remnants of paint from an old farm cupboard that we had lugged from Holland together with an old table and lots of kitchen thatched chairs, all of which came from the (approximately) 1780’s Saxon farm that we had bought during our stay there between 1973-76. The cupboard was painted by us while living in Holland. It was fashionable to go and hand paint old farm furniture and give it a ‘Scandinavian’ look. Strictly speaking Finland is not Scandinavia, but so what? It was close enough. Anyway, we were foolish, young, passionate and great home makers. Our kids were young and learnt Dutch within a few months. I can still see them riding their little bikes to primary school a couple of kilometres away… And now, and now… We are having their kids over with Internet tablets.

The grandkids. Sometimes I wonder, if the future will make another one of those monumental great medical discoveries whereby grandkids will be born first, completely bypassing children. They, our grandchildren are immensely mature and so easy. Full of innovation and wisdom. Questioning and yet guileless and pertinent. It wasn’t like that when their parents were young, or perhaps they were and we were the nervous inexperienced parents. Or, is it the ‘other’ parent that brought in the more restive, innovative gene? Who knows and does it now matter?

Today I took out the stripper bought four years ago and stripped the last bit of dark blue from the cupboard. Tomorrow I’ll get some shellac and French polish the whole thing. I used to French polish doors and architraves many years ago when French Polishers were as rare as a Stradivarius and just as expensive. ( I made a good earner)

With the old round table near the cupboard we decided some time ago that it was too dark for the small space that it lives in. It casts a gloomy spell over the rest of the room. It imposed itself as too dominant and was used to be looked at in a larger farm type room with open fire or a piano with a Rachmaninov score nearby.

I painted the top of the table a stark white and it cheers up the whole of that area.

And that is how the Christmas period has passed, yet again. A miracle. It is over.

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24 Responses to “Restoring old furniture to former glory.(Grand-kids)”

  1. Master of Something Yet Says:

    I have not yet been brave enough to eliminate all screen access over the holiday period, although we do make them wait until 4pm.
    I have been told by others that grandparenting is easier than parenting. I hold onto that thought in order to stay out of the madhouse while I parent three teenage boys.
    Your cupboard looks lovely. And useful. I like that.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I had to do something. The kids had used almost the entire month’s data in just two days.
      Yes, grand-parenting is much easier because they go back.
      You have three teen-age sons? It soon passes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Master of Something Yet Says:

        Ah yes, the data allowance. We just recently switched ISPs so as to be able to increase ours by more than 200% because I got tired of being the data police every month. They still run it down to the wire. Maybe we’ll just move to Canada where there is no concept of data allowance. Probably cheaper in the long run.

        The youngest is a newly minted teenager so there are…. I don’t want to think about how many more years of it I’ve got. I’m trying to stay positive. o_O


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, their mother is on unlimited data but even so…why give them the freedom? Shackle their urges for unlimited screen staring and wasting sun and good air.
        I took their tablets out from the sock drawer and showed the grandkids what they are missing, forever hopeful they would have been converted away from data usage.
        The progress will be slow but I hold the key to the drawer.


  2. Andrew Says:

    The concept of saving by spending is one of my biggest bugbears. I struggle to win the fight on many occasions but the malls have all sorts of subtle ways to influence the unwary. Free Parking (if you spend over HK$400) is my current hate. Parking costs HK$36 for 2 hours so I may have spent over HK$360 I didn’t need to just to get the free parking. A quick lunch, maybe HK$250-300, is the worst deal. Then the temptation starts to spend only another 150 to save the 36. We are all doomed, I tell you. Doomed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, three two litre Coke and the fourth one free (save). They lug home 8litres which contains something like 3 kilo (saving) of sugar. They are saving for a coffin (Mount Calvary model with free laminated spruce (saving) if bought before 21 of Jan 2015.(saving)


  4. la_lasciata Says:

    A happy tale, Gerard ! 🙂 Well, not counting the sales, of course. You can take the sense from the people, but you can’t take the people from the cents, it seems.
    Well done with the furniture, m’boy !


  5. rod Says:

    I don’t care much for clothes, fashion and the like, but I do love socks. I particularly like winter, when I can wear my hiking socks without my feet sweating to death. So I now envy your lockable socks drawer!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My mother as was Helvi’s, were great sock knitters. But my mother knitted my underpants as well which was a blip in my upbringing. I still re-coil from the memory of the itch that the coarse wool gave me between my legs.

      Socks, especially the pure Norwegian ones makes my life worthwhile and gives me great comfort in days of gloom and clear-sighted despair. Even in the midst of summer I put them on and just sit in a chair with my feet in an almost ‘honey-moon’ state of being.

      You do need a good lockable drawer for your socks Rod. One just never knows who might pinch them, worse, wear them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Silver in the Barn Says:

    I love that you removed the addictive tablets from the grandchildren whether or not they used all your data. They can rejoin the land of the living now and read and play and converse and do all those things we did as kids…..back when dinosaurs walked the earth, it seems. Ahhh, that Lamb Raan…..


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the tablets are soothingly resting amongst my socks but are being taught a good lesson.
      The Raan was superb and Milo is still gnawing the bones outside.

      A Christmas for everyone.

      I was again at the local Hospital last evening with grandson Thomas who has a mild Tonsillitis.

      The same triage nurse and the same Tony Doctor. They remembered him from last week when he had cut his foot.

      It just never stops.


      • Silver in the Barn Says:

        Oh no! It is never a good thing when the staff at the ER start calling you by first name. I hope Thomas is feeling better very soon. I can just picture Milo in heaven with his bones. I need another Milo post again soon, Gerard!


  7. chris hunter Says:

    Nice piece – that old cupboard. And great memories for you both of those halcyon days.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Chris a great cupboard. I gave it the first coat of shellac yesterday.


      • chris hunter Says:

        Have you a date for the ‘cupboard’ Gerard? In the early days I used to collect German pioneer furniture, often rough hewn and made from gum. In fact I was virtually the only person who rated it during the 70’s and could buy it for a song.

        At various auctions in the Barossa Valley I was often approached by locals who asked me what the hell I saw in it? It was always pegged (no nails). Bit by bit I reluctantly flogged it all off, to pay whatever bill. Just a pittance at the time.

        Recently, when looking through a book produced by the Power House Museum in Sydney I counted seventeen pieces that I had once owned. Now they are priceless relics.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Chris; We got this one in 1974 when we bought an old thatched Saxon farm in the East of The Netherlands. It has two doors which we have not put on because we like the look of it open with all the bits and pieces we put on the shelves. I suppose it could be around the 1780’s or so.
        In Holland we were told it would be expensive but we just love the look of it. That decorative carved bit on top does not belong to that cupboard we feel. It fits on top by wooden pegs as are the sides of the cupboard.
        We had another one of those, it was a ‘dressoir’ and was used to hang clothes inside. Most of our present furniture came from that farm. It was part of the deal that the farm would include all that which was inside. The owner was a merchant of fabrics and had fourteen children. Seven daughters and seven sons.
        We have lived with our furniture for decades and is really part of us. If we buy something it is often old and with character and what we like.


  8. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I got Peggy an iPad for Christmas, and she quickly became as addicted as the grandkids. Sigh. 🙂 –Curt


  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I got Dr. Advice an iPad for Christmas and it took awhile to set him up because he didn’t have an e-mail! So now he has officially joined the 21st century. I don’t know if he will have the same fascination with it as the grandkids. Happy New Year from Charlie to Milo too!


  10. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Well it all looks stunning, worth all the work. I have hardly been online over Christmas (mostly cooking for and playing with a houseful), so it feel quite restful, even luxurious to be poring over a computer again… though if the weather improves I’ll be in the garden again like a shot.


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